Index breaks 2,900 pts, back at June 2001 levels

Stocks rose again on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, with the index breaking 2,900 points for the first time since early June 2001. The ASE general index closed at 2,904.14 points, a gain of 12.54 points or 0.43 percent. On a weekly basis, the index gained 0.56 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.32 percent, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.60 percent and 1.29 percent respectively. Year-highs were attained by cement company Heracles (up 3.18 percent to 9.72 euros), refiner Motor Oil (1.74 percent to 10.54 euros) and metals trader Mytilineos (1.88 percent to 7.58 euros). Blue chips with significant gains included Viohalco (up 3.07 percent to 6.72 euros), OPAP (3.02 percent to 20.50 euros), Alpha Bank (1.05 percent to 27 euros), Duty Free Shops (1.01 percent to 14.04 euros), and OTE (0.44 percent to 13.80 euros). By contrast, Coca Cola HBC dropped 1 percent to 17.88 euros, CosmOTE 0.81 percent to 14.62 euros, Eurobank 0.24 percent to 24.88 euros, and National Bank 0.23 percent to 26.52 euros. Out of 358 traded stocks, 176 gained, 112 declined and 70 ended unchanged. Turnover fell slightly, to 187.46 million euros, including 17.13 million in prearranged trades.